Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Top 5 Best Episodes of 2013: Episode #1...

Adventure Time - Season Five

It’s New Year’s Eve so I’m going to cheat a little for my final entry in my Top 5 Favorite Episodes of 2013.

For my #1 spot, I’ve chosen Adventure Time as it has spent 2013 consistently improving and becoming one of the best science fiction and animated shows on American television.

It’s nearly impossible to choose one episode as the best of the year since 2013 gave us “Jake the Dad,” “Mystery Dungeon,” “Bad Little Boy,” “The Party's Over, Isla de Señorita,” “Time Sandwich,” “Love Games,” “Dungeon Train,” “The Pit,” “Root Beer Guy,” and the amazing and moving “Simon & Marcy.”

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Top 5 Best Episodes of 2013: Episode #2...

Elementary 1.12 – “M.”

I’m a huge fan of Elementary and could probably write essays on multiple episodes’ sheer amazingness. From Lucy Liu’s pitch perfect portrayal of Joan Watson and Jonny Lee Miller’s eerily canonically accurate Sherlock Holmes to the awesome diversity of the cast and sets and Sherlock and Joan’s partnership of mutual respect, Elementary has become the best version of the Sherlock Holmes canon in years and one of the best dramas on network television right now.

But it was “M.” that demonstrated the dark side to Elementary and opened up Joan and Sherlock’s universe beyond the brownstone.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Top 5 Best Episodes of 2013: Episode #3...

Bob’s Burgers 4.08 – “Christmas in the Car”

Bob’s Burgers has slowly but surely been usurping Adventure Time as my favorite animated show currently on television. While I still have several episodes to catch up on from previous seasons, the current season has featured consistently strong episodes.

Compared to other shows’ holiday-themed episodes, both the Thanksgiving episode and the recent “Christmas in the Car” were two of the strongest and funniest ones I’ve seen this season.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Top 5 Best Episodes of 2013: Episode #4...

Sleepy Hollow 1.01 – “Pilot”

I started hearing rumblings about Sleepy Hollow in August and I literally decided to tune in to the premiere when I saw a taxi promoting drive past me one day. I liked the look of the two stars.

I wasn’t sure what to expect when I tuned in to the premiere with my sister but by the end of the pilot, during which we had laughed, screamed and went aww, we were both hooked.

Sleepy Hollow has had stronger episodes this season than the pilot but it was this episode that caused this potentially gimmicky show to completely captivate me.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Top 5 Best Episodes of 2013: Episode #5...

The end of the year is coming and that means it’s time to take stock of 2013; by which, I mean take stock of all the television I’ve watched in 2013.

To be honest, I’ve always been a very picky television watcher but this year, I found myself expanding my TV horizons. With all the new television I’ve watched, I wanted to narrow down the year with my list of the top five best episodes of 2013.

Beware, obviously, of spoilers.

Please share with me your favorite episodes of 2013 and let’s start with number 5…

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Sherlock Holmes Syndrome

I’m sick of Sherlock Holmes.

Let me clarify.

I fell in love with this character several years ago when I began reading the Sir Arthur Conan Doyle canon. Do you ever have those moments when you discover a character or a book and you think: this was created for me? I had that with Sherlock Holmes.

I loved him even with all his flaws, sexism, and drug addiction. I loved the world he inhabited, I loved Watson, and I was madly in love with Irene Adler. Even the stories where Conan Doyle was clearly phoning it in, I enjoyed. And for a while, I loved the fact that pop culture had rediscovered this character and seemed to create new renditions of him every year.

I am now sick of what I call Sherlock Holmes Syndrome. I am sick of eccentric, often neurotic, always brilliant white men who see things that we mere mortals cannot see. I’m sick of the mass media’s apparent belief that mental issues, depression, anxiety, psychopathy and neurodevelopmental disorders are magic. I’m also sick of the blanket use of autism, often incorrectly, as a signifier for Otherness and as a vague superpower.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Loki and the Language of Sexual Violence

[Trigger warning: discussion of sexual violence, consent issues, and rape. NSFW language]

All this talk of Marvel’s Thor: The Dark World (2013) inspired me to break out my Blu-ray edition of Marvel’s Thor (2011) last night. By all accounts, it’s my favorite film of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) since it taught me to love Thor and Marvel, which then inspired me to apply for an internship there and the rest is geeky history. So I love this movie. I love Thor. And like most in the Marvel fandom, I love Loki.

But there’s a moment in Thor that I always found troubling and I often try to forget it happens. When it does occur, I find myself incredibly uncomfortable, especially for a movie that I thoroughly enjoy as both a feminist and a geek.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Frigga, Loki, and Magic in Marvel’s Thor: The Dark World

I recently wrote an essay exploring Loki and Frigga’s relationship and the use of magic and the feminine in Marvel’s Thor: The Dark World. Please check it out here at The Discriminating Fangirl! Beware, SPOILERS.  

Friday, November 8, 2013

The Erasure of Officer Anne Lewis and Women in Action

Officer Anne Lewis (Nancy Allen)
The new trailer for the RoboCop remake was released yesterday, bringing us a vaguely closer look at the origins of OmniCorp’s program to bring robots to the American home front.


As a massive fan of the original 1987 RoboCop, I have yet to see anything in the trailers for the remake that is as fresh and clever as the entire original film. I’m also still angry over the apparent lack of Officer Anne Lewis: a dynamic and engaging secondary character in 1987’s RoboCop and one of my favorite examples of a woman in an action film.

According to the cast list of the 2014 version, there is no Officer Anne Lewis, simply an Officer Jack Lewis, played by the awesome Michael K. Williams. Great, he’s an amazing actor. But the removal of Anne Lewis is highly troubling to me.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Nancy Thompson, Freddy Krueger, and feminism

Tomorrow is Halloween and that means I will be doing several things:

-       Handing out candy
-       Playing spooky music all day
-       Dressing up
-       Watching A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)

I’ve written about A Nightmare on Elm Street before and how much I love this film. At the risk of repeating myself, I want to discuss the original Nightmare on Elm Street again if only because of how important this film was to me as a young teenager and now, as an adult feminist.

It may seem strange for a feminist to love a film in which a deformed child murderer stalks and kills teenagers, most famously after sex. When I first saw this film as a fourteen year old, however, I was astonished by the originality of the premise. I had already seen a masked and typically silent killer slash his way through sexually promiscuous teenagers but I had never seen a killer with a personality. And I had never seen any death scenes as unsettling as the disquieting dreamscapes in which Freddy Krueger tormented and killed his victims.

Monday, October 28, 2013

"So why shouldn't I write of monsters?" A feminist considers the horror genre

Elsa Lanchester in The Bride of Frankenstein (1935)
It’s the week of the Halloween.

It’s my favorite time of year if only for the reason that I love horror. Truly and desperately love horror in all its forms, especially horror films.

This often surprises people because I am a feminist. I have a very clear memory of a college professor being totally aghast that I was a women and gender’s studies student and a horror fan. This annoyed me.

Because for me, horror is freeing. As a quiet, bookish, and all-around weird kid, horror films opened up a world of empowerment for me. It is only in horror that the Other has, if only momentarily, true power.